Herculaneum lived in the shadow of Vesuvius and, along with the towns of Pompeii, Stabiiae, Opontis and Boscoreale, was destroyed the eruption of 79 AD. It was completely buried in the fine ash ejected by the volcano and which rushed over the town when the column of hot air collapsed.
The image showing the grassed area in front of the boathouses shows where the sea shore once stood. The height of the wall in front of it indicates how much ash fell to cover the town.
Many residents of Herculaneum fled the town on the first night of the eruption when disruption to the town was not severe. On the second night, the wind changed direction and the town became engulfed in an ash fall. Some of the remaining residents sought shelter in boathouses on the sea shore in vain. They could ot have known that the heat from the pyroclastic flows from the erruption would have killed them, even if they were 10km away from the town.
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